Appearing in a record sleeve at Filter Musikk this week: “Another crap record you won’t play – Why do I bother” …
“Please give it a listen though, you may not agree.” – Anonymous
A clever bit of promo? Perhaps, but either way, it’s the most perfect summation of our contemporary, personal music experience. In modern times where every living artist is able to create, produce, and distribute his/her music from the comfort of their bedroom, there is so much music out there, and a little something for everybody. From an extensive music library that keeps growing exponentially, we’re able to carve out a very niche, personal listening experience, completely unique to the individual and completely free from outside influences.
Radio, streaming services, verbal recommendations and especially personal relationships with a piece of music or an artist all influence our personal tastes, and we find ourselves in a period of a very diverse musical experiences for an individual, where we can go from listening to the honky tonk sounds of a country-esque group from the UK to the spaced-out sounds of Detroit Techno interpreted by a Dutch artist using old synthesisers made in Japan. (That’s literally just happened as I wrote this.)
It’s an incredible age we live in, but with so much musical stimulation coming from so many channels we are absolutely saturated with music and at times we need to take a step back, take stock, invest in the music that makes a lasting impression, and give a little back to the people that put so much effort into these creations. For that there’s is still only once place to turn. It’s a place as old as the commercial music printing press, and it’s still one of the most significant institutions in this thing we call DJ culture.
It’s the record store. It might have gone through some incredible changes with the development of the Internet as it migrated from the physical- to the virtual realm, but it’s ethos remains unchanged and those entities that continue to perpetuate that ideology, have become institutions in their own right. Filter Musikk in Oslo is one of those and continues to be a barometer for those looking for a sincere recommendation, especially when it’s from one of Oslo’s leading figures in electronic music, Roland Lifjell.
Every week he gets a new batch of records at Filter Musikk, and whenever he does he gives us first dibs and together we select a few to make it into the cut with Filter Musikk. These aren’t just another crap record, you won’t play, and all of these records deserve more than just a listen…
Legowelt – Star Simulator (Clone Jack For Daze) 12“ – link
For over two decades Legowelt has perpetuated a sound that has evolved or deviated little from those first Bunker records. Helena Hauff once surmised that the Dutch producer continues to make music like this because he considers that original sound from Detroit the most “perfect sound” in electronic music, and who are we to argue with that kind of logic.
From his arsenal of synthesisers… did you just say synthesiser… yes synthesisers – Danny Wolfers loves his synthesisers – Legowelt coaxes a very distinct sound, one that has remained largely unchanged since he first started making music back in the 1990’s.
He is nothing but consistent, and more often than not, consistently good as he finds that rare position in his music, where dynamism, functionality, sound design and conceptualism converge on electronic, beat music. His latest contribution to the Clone Jack for Daze series is no different as he channels pragmatic beats, ethereal textures and emphatic melodies through his machines.
There’s always a kind of retrofitted sonic dexterity to Wolfers music as Legowelt, impart due to the equipment he uses, but also in the way he combines these sounds. Several layers of familiar synthetic textures course through the music as Wolfers explores abstract themes of space and fantasy in music that arrives in the present from a timeline, where Detroit never relinquished Techno to the Germans and captain Kirk is sill at the helm of the Enterprise.
There’s no need to mess with perfection and on his latest EP,” Star Simulator,” Legowelt stays the course, and from his bunker of synthesisers, he creates yet another significant contribution to his incredible discography… synthesiser…
Chiraya – Skranglebass EP (Entrepôt) 12″ – link
It’s new Norwegian music coming via the Belgium label, Entrepôt. Chiraya (formerly Furmit) is an Oslo-based producer that we don’t know anything about, and as far as we can tell Skranglebass is the first record he’s made under this alias. The name, taken from the defunct online radio station of some repute, is something of a homage to the DIY house sounds of early Norwegian electronic music and the deeper community that sprung up around it, which Chiraya honors it seems through four visceral, classic House tracks.
Chiraya favours a raw, domineering approach to House music as big kicks, razor-like melodic stabs and densely orchestrated samples strain and distort under their own weight. Everything seems to happen and is orchestrated for the moment, and there’s an incredibly potent and infectious live feel to the record as filters rise in and out of their frequency range and progressions halt and proceed at the will of some free improvisation.
The most surprising track on the EP is “Ekeberg” which was apparently taken from the hardware mega jam at Sommerøya last year. How anybody could make sense of that tangled mess, let alone get something so pure and concise out of it on a record, is a masterclass in itself. Soulful vocals screech out into the distance through the wave of one-fingered keys, while a hi-hat patters in the syncopated silence of that ever-present kick, stomping its way towards the dance floor. “Ekeberg” is the definitive sound of this record with all the other contributions clearly following in its wake through the EP.
Unprofessional – Civilization At The Bio Store (Forbidden Planet) 12″ – link
Forbidden Planet pick up the pace on this latest offering from unknown artist Unprofessional. “Civilisation at the Bio store” combines elements of EBM, Techno and Trance for an eccentric take on the dance floor.
Between the contrast of the upbeat melodic bass lines and rhythm section and the malicious whispers and electronic atmospheres in the distance, Unprofessional has certainly arrived at a sound that is incredibly unique for its time.
You might be inclined to think Gabber by the third and penultimate track, “The final Info line” but there’s a little more on the bone to this record than a tawdry Dutch hardcorethrowback record. It’s not a subtle record, but it’s appropriating disparate musical cues to create something unique. Although very minimal in design, each part is created to make a prominent sonic impression in any context.
Bold, noisy synthesisers dominate the stereo field, while energetic percussive workouts rush through the progression of the tracks. “Civilization at the Bio Store” has an immediate and brief effect, but in its simplicity and its succinctness it achieves powerful results. It might need a little more refinement according to some, but it’s certainly refreshing to hear a new artist like this, veering from tried and tested formulas.
Daniel Avery – Song For Alpha Remixes: One (Phantasy Sound) 12″ – link
Yet another remix package from Daniel Avery’s “Song for Alpha” record from last year. There are already three different editions of this particular remix package out there as well as a couple of remixes from Four Tet and Jon Hopkins, but as is the nature of the drawn out physical release, we’ve only just received the first version.
Daniel Avery and Phantasy Sound hand over a few tracks from the album to three of the most uncompromising Techno artists operating in the scene today for the remix treatment. Manni Dee, Anastasia Kristensen and Patrick Russel put their spin on “Citizen // Nowhere,” “Glitter” and “Diminuendo” respectively, but the title is pretty much where they sever all connection to the originals.
Manni Dee’s blistering hardcore treatment of “Citizen // Nowhere” borders on sacrlige as he retains almost nothing of the original, shoehorning it into the sonic aesthetic he’s been cultivatingas a solo artist and live performer of late. And while Patrick Russel is the only artist that took the original in the opposite direction from Avery’s 4-4 original “Diminuendo”, this remix package is very much about outer extremes and clearly earmarked for a more progressive dancing audience.
Anastasia Kristensen too deliberately exposed the mere inner workings of the track, aggrandizing their simple functionality for a remix that skates around the fringes of Manni Dee’s interpretation. Over-extended tempos through a percussive onslaught of a-tonal noise dominates this record as these remixes offer very different interprations of the originals.
…And be prepared as you go into Manni Dee’s rendition of “Citizen // Nowhere” after the first break… massive…